Louvre Museum
Paris
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Louvre Museum tickets and tours

In August 1911, Leonardo’s masterpiece The Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre and was missing for two years. The criminal was Vincenzo Peruggia, a h...

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The inside story

In August 1911, Leonardo’s masterpiece The Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre and was missing for two years. The criminal was Vincenzo Peruggia, a handyman with a police record for robbing a prostitute. After hiding in a closet until the museum closed, he then removed the painting from its frame, rolled it up and walked out with it inside his coat.

There were no security alarms at that time and it was 24 hours before anyone even noticed the painting was missing. Police searched Peruggia’s flat but didn’t find anything, despite it being hidden in the bottom of a trunk. Instead, they arrested the poet Guillame Apollinaire, who was soon released for lack of evidence. Picasso was also questioned.

After a while, the media became interested in the tragic sinking of the Titanic and Peruggia decided it was time to sell the painting. Unfortunately, he tried to sell it to Giovanni Poggi, director of Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, and was immediately arrested. The painting went on a brief tour of Italy before returning to the Louvre. Peruggia served seven months in prison.

Opening hours

9.00am-6.00pm: Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

9.00-9.45pm: Wednesday, Friday

Sundays in October - March: free access to permanent collections on the first Sunday of each month

Rooms begin closing 30 minutes before museum closing time

CLOSED: Tuesdays, January 1, May 1, December 25

About the Louvre

The history of the Louvre begins around 1200 with its construction as a defensive bastion for Paris. It later served time as a royal residence before housing various government ministries during the nineteenth century. Only at the start of the twentieth century did its role as an art treasury begin.

The Louvre's collections include western art from the medieval period to 1848 and are organised into different departments: paintings, Egyptian antiquities, Greek/Roman/Etruscan antiquities, Near Eastern antiquities, sculpture, decorative arts, Islamic arts, prints & drawings, and the Pavillon de l’Horloge (once the royal palace).

The departments are color coded to help you navigate what is a vast and potentially confusing space. It’s recommended that you obtain a map and spend a little time thinking about what you’d like to see rather than trying to see everything in a single session. The maps are available in Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

The Louvre also has an excellent website with maps, information and tips on how to understand the art you’ll see there. The Mona Lisa may be its most famous (and popular) exhibit but there are a thousand other discoveries to be made if you explore all the museum has to offer.

Address

Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris - France

Getting there

By Metro

Lines 1 and 7 to Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre

By bus

Lines 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, 95 + Paris Open Tour bus to the Pyramid

By car

Entrance to underground garage: avenue du Général Lemonnier: 7.00am-11.00pm

By batobus (boat)

Louvre stop: quai François Mitterrand

By train

(From Paris Orly) RER C to Champs de Mars-Tour Eiffel. Get off at Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame. Walk to the place Saint-Michel and take bus no 27, direction Saint-Lazare. Get off at the Louvre in front of the Pyramid

(From Charles de Gaulle): RER B train, direction Massy-Palaiseau. Change at Châtelet-les-Halles to line 14, direction Saint-Lazare. Get off at Pyramides station and walk to the Louvre from there (three minutes)

By bike

Vélib' stations (bicycle sharing system):
No 1015: 2 place A. Malraux
No 1023: 165 rue Saint-Honoré
No 1014: 5 rue de l’Echelle
No 1013: 186 rue Saint-Honoré

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How to get there

Louvre Museum Carrousel du Louvre 75001 Paris, France Paris